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Title: Diverging Normality [1/?]
Rating: R
Genre: Romance/General
Pairing: Rachel/Puck
Summary: AU. Rachel always knew that love was blind, but she never knew it was also unpredictable, stupidly exasperating and more than a little masochistic. She just wished she didn't have to get pregnant first in order to finally discover what love really was.
Warnings: None.
Disclaimer: Glee does not belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended.



A/N: This is my first try at Glee fanfiction. Hope it is okay. I also don't have a beta so please excuse any mistakes.

Diverging Normality

Prologue

Everything has to begin somewhere. Although she can be fastidious and say it all started with Finn choosing to join and then remain in Glee the truth of the matter was it was only the catalyst.

While she was nice enough Mrs. Puckerman wasn’t someone her daddies or her associated with often. Not that they had anything against her. They just never got the chance to know her very well. Despite the fact they often found themselves attending the same parties and bar mitzvahs – because really the Jewish population of Lima wasn’t big enough for them to never come across each other – they had little friends in common. So really it was not surprising they would have little to do with each other. Which was quite fine with her. It meant that on the rare occasions Mrs. Puckerman would somehow manage to drag her wayward son along with her, outside the requisite politeness of introductions he would hardly even think to spare her a second glance. Instead opting to pretend she didn’t exist. Of course when he saw her next at school he would always see fit to give her an extra full slushie to the face. As if his being there was her fault somehow.

It was a few days after the euphoric performance of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Mr. Schue’s return to Glee that Rachel finds herself at the home of some very close friends of her daddies, celebrating the bar mitzvah of their only son. She was still coming off the high of realizing her time at William McKinley would not be a total waste. That after all the torture she’d been forced to endure she was going to be doing something worthwhile and conducive to her future as a Broadway and Hollywood starlet. It was this that quite possibly made her a little less diligent and a lot more reckless than usual.

Although her fathers frowned upon the very idea of underage alcohol consumption and she herself was quite wary of its ill effects, especially on the throat, she was thinking that since she was well on her way to stardom and of course everything it entails she should at least try and get a real taste for champagne. Because even if she doesn’t make a habit of it, celebrating a success with fruit juice in its stead just didn’t seem quite the same. So it was with this in mind that she found herself sneaking off upstairs with a half-full bottle of champagne and a sparkling glass. It wasn’t like she was going to finish the whole thing. She just wanted a taste. Nothing more. Making sure not to be spotted she snuck into one of the guest rooms and not even thinking to lock the door quickly poured herself a glass.

The moment she brought the glass to her lips and took a sip a very familiar voice interrupted her, “Never thought I’ll see the day you’re be acting like a half-normal person Berry. I actually may be a little impress.”

Wincing at both the taste of the champagne and at being caught by Noah “Puck” Puckerman of all people she primly set the glass and bottle down on a nearby nightstand. Not wanting to give anything away she met his mocking if not somewhat amused gaze head on.

“If you must know Noah –“ He frowned at her use of his name but she ploughed on before he could say a thing. “ – I am only preparing myself for the eventuality of what my assured success would bring. Champagne is just a necessary evil I must endeavour to overcome if I am going to be a star,” she replied in an overly polite tone.

“Right, I spoke too soon,” was his derisive reply. Taking a step into the room he stood to the side of the door and holding it open gave her a pointed look and an even more pointed command of, “Now if you would so kindly get the fuck out I would be ever so grateful.”

Incensed Rachel glared back at him and responded, “I have as much right as you to be here Noah Puckerman and as the favoured daughter of one of the host’s greatest friends I think my claim to being here is greater than yours.”

He rolled his eyes but instead of insisting upon her departure he firmly closed and locked the door. That done he casually sauntered over to the bed and dropped the hefty load in his arms (of which she’d just noticed) onto the soft mattress. She stared incredulously at the amount of bottles he’d somehow managed to get away with. Without a word he expertly uncapped one and took what looked like a much-needed chug of its contents before finally lowering it again to wipe at his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt.

“What on earth do you think you are doing?” she hissed.

“What the hell does it look like Berry?” he retorted, obviously annoyed as he took another chug. With a vague gesture towards the door he snapped, “Now shut up or get out.”

Marching herself towards the locked door she hauntingly said, “Fine. I have no desire to an accessory to your delinquency anyway.”

“Says the girl who snuck off with a bottle of champagne all to herself,” he returned with vehemence. “And really Berry out of everything on offer out there you sneak away with that bottle of cat piss. Not that I am surprised. Your taste has always been for shit. I mean really do you ever look in the mirror before you leave the house.” He sneered as he gave her a once over. His eyes were completely dismissive. As if she wasn’t even worth his time. “If you think this is going to be enough to seriously tempt Finn away from Quinn Fabray then you are more delusional than I give you credit for.”

“My taste is perfectly acceptable Noah.” She froze mid-stride to favour with a heated glare. She felt something in her stomach clench and fought hard to ignore his words. “And if I somehow don’t meet your standards that is simply because I have enough class and self respect to not feel the need to pander to such a crass Neanderthal as yourself.”

“Well then,” he dryly began, drawling out the words as he indicated her still full glass of champagne with a simple nod of the head. “Why don’t you finish your drink and show this crass Neanderthal how wrong he is?”

Rather than storming out like she should have Rachel marched right back over to the nightstand to once again take up her discarded glass. Mentally bracing herself for the horrible bitterness she knew was going to assault her tastebuds she took a deep breath and under his challenging stare drank the whole thing down in one long gulp. While doing so saved her from the unappealing taste it did not save her from the even worst aftertaste or the unfamiliar burn down her throat. Slamming the glass down on the stand she made a disgusted face and began coughing her displeasure. Her face reddened at the sound of laughter. She was just about to march out to save what little dignity she had left when she saw a bottle being held before her.

“Just for that I’m going to do you a favour,” she heard him say. “Here, try this.”

She slapped his hand away and snapped, “I do not require anything from you Noah and I’m certainly not here for your amusement.”

“Look, just take it. If nothing else it would help you to get rid of the taste of cat piss in your mouth,” he responded with a roll of his eyes.

Not quite trusting him but hating the vulgar taste still lingering in her mouth more she cautiously took the already opened bottle and never taking her eyes off him took a small sip. At the explosion of sweetness on her tongue she took another longer sip and though there was still a hint of a rather unfamiliar bitterness she found she really didn’t mind this. It was actually quite good.

“Figures, all the chicks love wine coolers,” he sighed before returning to his previous perch on the edge of the bed and picking up and opening yet another bottle for himself.

Not knowing why she still hadn’t left yet or curiouser yet why he hadn’t made her she tentatively asked, “Since you are obviously not attending this joyous gathering of your own free will why are you still here? Why don’t you just take off?”

“Just because I am tolerating your presence at this moment doesn’t mean talking is allowed,” he angrily snaps.

Frowning at the clear dismissal she went to take another sip of her drink only to find it already finished. She set the empty bottle down and knew she really should make her getaway. Because even though he was being somewhat civil to her now she knew, just knew that she was going to suffer doubly for this come Monday. Maybe it was Dutch courage or just a simple case of pure stupidly but instead of doing what her mind was screaming at her to do Rachel picks up a similarly labelled bottle to the one she just discarded and without a word held it out to him. When all he did was raise a questioning brow at her she pointed to the sealed cap with her free hand and gazed expectantly at him. He frowned for a moment, and then gives her a salacious grin. Taking the bottle from her he uncapped it before handing it back.

To her surprise he held his own filled bottle to hers and with a clicking of glass, the universal gesture of ‘cheers’, finished it in one single gulp. He then turned to her in silent challenge. Again rather than doing the smart thing and flatly denying him she instead quietly takes up his challenge by bringing her own bottle up to her lips. However, when all she succeeds in doing is to gulp down half the bottle and nearly choke herself in the process she finds that she really doesn’t mind the laugh she manages to elicit.

* * *

Noah Puckerman was a jerk. He throws slushies at her, makes it a point to constantly tear her down and never turns down the opportunity to tell her exactly how big of a freak she is. But drunk on wine coolers she kisses him and sees someone else. Someone nicer. Someone caring. She sees someone who never throws slushies in her face and laugh about it afterwards with his friends. And it’s perfect.

* * *

Waking up alone to find the bar mitzvah still going on and everything in the room exactly as it should be Rachel almost succeeds in willing herself to believe nothing happened.

Days, weeks later she goes back to pining after Finn and for his part Noah goes back to throwing slushies at her like he always does. Never once even looking her way. She could have spent the rest of her life all so conveniently forgetting she ever had anything to do with Noah Puckerman. It was just too bad that her body had other ideas. Three weeks after that fateful night, a few days following the Cheerios’ decision to join Glee, and one day after Kurt successfully auditions for the football team, Rachel Berry misses her period for the first time in years and begins throwing up at the drop of a hat.

When she wakes up one morning unable to move from the toilet for fear of being sick all over the place Rachel does not protest when her dads make her stay home and only leaves the house long enough to make a quick trip to the pharmacy furthest from where she lives.

* * *

Closing her eyes she holds the test tightly in her white-knuckled grip and prays fervently to whatever deity that may be listening to, “Please, please, please be negative.”

Unable to put off the inevitable any longer she opens her eyes and looks down as soon as the timer goes off. With an anguished sob Rachel sets down the last of the tests. Lines it up next to the nine others already on her bathroom counter and blearily stares at them all in stunned disbelief. Hoping against hope she was wrong she picks up the box it came in and lets out another sob when it did was reconfirm to her what she already knew. Just like the others it was positive.

“Pregnant,” she murmurs shakily and suddenly it hits her like a ton of bricks, as if finally saying it out loud somehow makes more real than any one of those tests she’d just taken ever could. “Oh god, I’m going to be sick.”

Chapter 1
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August 2010

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